Elloise G. Hill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

NEWPORT NEWS—Elloise Gwaltney Hill, 97, died April 10, 2008.

Mrs. Hill was born in Ivor, Jan. 16, 1911, to the late Pembroke and Lillie Green Gwaltney.

She was educated in the Isle of Wight public schools, Huntington High School in Newport News, and The American Institute in Chicago, Ill.

She continued her pursuit of education throughout her life, having attended Virginia Union, Norfolk State, and Hampton Universities.

She made Jesus a part of her life from early childhood, and embraced His message, “To him whom much is given, much is required.”

She and her husband, the late Rev. Herbert A. Hill Sr., whom she married in 1932 in Smithfield, were leaders in the Voter Rights Movement in Isle of Wight County.

They strongly advocated improved public education for African American children, and “encouraged” Isle of Wight to provide the first school bus for African American students in the county.

She was a life member of the NAACP, and belonged to the Order of the Tents, Elks, and The Eastern Stars.

As the wife of a farmer, educator, pastor, and mother of four children, she became a master at “multi-tasking”.

She was an excellent seamstress, a substitute teacher for Isle of Wight public schools, and a self taught pianist.

She played for the different churches for whom the Rev. Hill ministered and for others in the community. She sang in various church choirs and taught Sunday School.

When she moved to Newport News she became involved in a Senior Citizens Center, and became proficient at managing programs for seniors.

She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 53 years, the Rev. Herbert A. Hill Sr.; and son, the Rev. Pembroke DeBernis Hill.

Survivors include one daughter, Gwendolyn (William Jr.) Demones of Atlantic City, N.J.; two sons, the Rev. Herbert A. (Bessie) Hill Jr. of Newport News, with whom she lived, and W. Carlton (Kathryn) Hill of Virginia Beach; a sister, Loris Gray of Smithfield; a daughter-in-law, Frances Hill of Smithfield; three sisters-in-law, Rose Walker of Virginia Beach, Gertrude Gwaltney of Ivor and Margaret Gwaltney of Newark, N.J.; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be made in her name to the Emmanuel Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 432, Smithfield, VA 23430.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 11150 Emmanuel Church Road, Smithfield. Viewing will be from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. today at the church.

Arrangements are being handled by Pretlow & Chapman Funeral Home.